• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

Council acts to keep Lakeshore deal alive

MIDWAY - The city council Monday voted unanimously to pay $450,000 over five years to bring natural gas to Midway Station in order to keep the commitment of Lakeshore Learning Materials to come there. The resolution acknowledged that without the additional incentive, which is part of a $2.8-million-dollar deal to bring a six-inch gas pipeline to Midway Station, the California company would not come. The $450,000 will be repaid by the Woodford County Economic Development Authority (EDA) from a portion of the proceeds from the future sale of 22 acres at the industrial park. "The state of Kentucky's Cabinet for Economic Development really came through big here for us, and . the city of Midway and the state of Kentucky deserve a ton of credit for saving this project," Vandegrift said. "The last two weeks have been very back-and-forth ." Vandegrift said. Vandegrift also gave a nod to the EDA and company officials, the latter of whom didn't know until recently that Midway Station didn't have natural gas. "If we had not done this, we'd still have 43 empty acres and no gas," Vandegrift said. The council also unanimously passed an ordinance authorizing the issuance of two series of Industrial Revenue Bonds for up to $50 million on behalf of Lakeshore. State law allows local governments to issue the bonds at a lower rate and give the company a property tax break to help finance construction costs. Bondholders use revenue from the projects to cover debt service. Last month, Mark Franklin, the attorney representing the company, said the bonds would not be a liability for the city of Midway, which merely serves as a conduit in the process. A pilot program in the agreement exempts school taxes from the property tax cut. "Good luck with the I.R.S.," Vandegrift joked as Franklin left the meeting after Monday's vote. Parks board Vandegrift announced his nominations for the new, five-member, unpaid Midway Parks Board: John Holloway, Cecelia Gass, council member Sara Hicks, Regina Morris and Liles Taylor. All were confirmed unanimously, and will elect their own chairman and report to the council on their work. Afterwards, Vandegrift praised the work of the "Friends of Walter Bradley Jr. Park" citizens' advisory committee (CAC) formed last year to study ways to improve the city park. Before dissolving the committee, which is no longer needed with a parks board in place, Vandegrift said the CAC and volunteers did far more than offer a plan for improvement. He issued proclamations in their names making Tuesday, Oct. 18, "their" day in the city and detailed their work, which included creating new walking paths, two new entrances and a bridge over Lee's Creek. The CAC was composed of Holloway, Gass, Steve Simoff, Dottie Cordray, Milan Hamilton and Phil Dare.

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